FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. Whether you own a condo or a detached home, it is important to understand what is and what isn’t covered in your policy. According to Florida Today, a condominium complex is still fighting its insurance company for a $10 million claim. The condo association cites storm damage as the cause of the building’s structural issues while the insurance company claims that these structural issues existed prior to the storm. City officials have said that the building is not safe for human habitation due to the structural issues and have called on the condo association to tear the building down. The case raises interesting questions about what is and isn’t covered by typical homeowner’s insurance and a condo association’s HO6 policy. An HO6 policy frequently offers less coverage that a HO3 (typically what you would find for a standalone home vs. a condominium which are often HO6) policy. The condominium association policies typically cover common areas only. An HO6 policy often provides coverage for a condo unit occupied by the owner or a tenant and its valued contents. An HO6 condo policy may offers protection for things such as personal liability coverage and medical payments to others, loss assessments, contents and permanently attached building items inside the condo unit and additional coverage options such as replacement cost on personal property, identity theft, and dog liability, to name a few, may be possible add-ons.
The reality is that many of the kinds of damage homes and condo’s experience will not be covered by insurance. Insurance is only designed to protect home owners and condo owners from unforeseen events, like fires, windstorms, falling objects, or unforeseen water damage, usually not related to flooding. According to Value Penguin, your homeowner’s insurance or condo insurance won’t cover damage to a foundation due to natural settling, or due to natural changes to your building’s foundation. Generally, these changes are the responsibility of the homeowner or the condo association to remedy. Tree root invasion to your foundation also may not be covered, nor will poor construction be covered in many instances. Earthquake and flood damage is generally excluded as well, and if you want to be covered for these events, you’ll need to add a rider or purchase separate flood or earthquake insurance in most cases.
Your insurance policy also generally won’t cover damages to your home or condo due to normal wear and tear. While this exclusion can be reasonable—for example, your insurance policy isn’t responsible for paying for your regular required roof maintenance, Investopedia notes that sometimes insurers might use their wear and tear exclusions to deny claims. So, if your roof develops a leak due to storm damage, the insurance adjuster may want to look at your maintenance records for your roof. If you haven’t repaired or updated your roof in years, insurance adjusters might say that your roof was already due for an update and deny your claim. It is important to keep records of any maintenance on your property. Furthermore, if your insurance claims wear and tear in a denied claim, you may want to speak to the insurance claims lawyers at Leader & Leader, P.A. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We find non-descript claims of “wear and tear” to be a very common tool used by insurance carriers to improperly deny valid claims, based upon our experience in our opinion. Our attorneys can review your situation and your policy and fight any bad faith on the part of your insurers. If your roof or foundation was sound and a sudden unexpected event damaged these structures, you may be entitled to make a claim against your insurance. Unfortunately, not all homeowners understand that they can appeal a denied claim.
Leader & Leader, P.A. are insurance claims attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida who understand that navigating the insurance claims process can be complicated. Contact our law firm today to learn more about your rights. We may be able to help you receive the settlement you may be entitled to receive under the law.
Leader & Leader, P.A.
633 South Andrews Ave.
Fort Lauderdale, FL33301